KIGALI, Rwanda – With the inauguration of the18-month EAC marketing program coinciding with the recent announcement at the World Travel Market in London by the governments of Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda which introduced the East African single joint visa, Rwanda is launching a new tourism program.
This month the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) is launching an extensive new tourism marketing program to promote Rwanda among the East African Community (EAC). The new EAC visa will take effect on January 1, 2014, allowing visitors to travel more freely through the 3 nations with a single and more affordable visa (US$100).
The EAC marketing program will complement the visa’s launch through engaging social media campaigns for regional travelers as well as special events and partnership opportunities for tour operators, travel agents, and journalists.
The EAC Marketing campaign will build on the broad recognition Rwanda is receiving as a top international travel destination. National Geographic Traveler recently selected Rwanda’s Nyungwe Forest as one of the top 20 destinations in 2014 for “what’s authentic, culturally rich, sustainable and superlative in the world of travel today.” Condé Nast Traveller lists Rwanda as one of its “Top 10 Destinations to Watch in 2014,” citing the country as Africa’s emerging safari hotspot. Rwanda is the only African destination to be included on the list. G Adventures, an international tour operator, identified Rwanda as one of its five hottest destinations in 2014 for British travelers.
The program will differentiate Rwanda from neighboring destinations by informing EAC nationals, expatriates and international travelers about the country’s extensive nature- and culture-based tourism attractions, while enticing them to add Rwanda’s to their regional circuit or to extend the Rwanda leg of their multi-country itinerary.
Ultimately the program will result in increased visitation and tourism receipts for Rwanda. Tourism is the nation’s largest foreign exchange earner, thus the investment in EAC promotion is important to secure future economic growth.
The EAC Tourism Marketing program is being implemented with the support of Solimar International, a Washington, DC-based tourism development and marketing firm. They bring extensive international expertise and several years’ experience working in East Africa.